Gear review: BOSS Katana 100 MKII

BOSS Katana 100 MKII

The BOSS Katana 100 MkII is a testament to the evolution of digital amplification technology, encapsulating the best of versatility and sound quality within a modestly priced package. As a guitar enthusiast and a long-time admirer of BOSS products, my experience with the Katana 100 MkII has solidified my belief in the capability of modern guitar amps to deliver stellar performance without breaking the bank.

Design and Build Quality

Visually, the Katana 100 MkII has a clean, no-nonsense aesthetic that speaks to its practical design philosophy. The amp is housed in a rugged chassis that feels sturdy and ready for the rigors of both home use and gigging. All the knobs and switches feel robust and responsive, which enhances the user experience, allowing you to tweak settings with confidence.

Sound and Versatility

The core of the Katana 100 MkII lies in its sonic versatility. Equipped with five distinct amp characters that range from sparkling clean to aggressive distortion, the amp provides a foundation that caters to nearly every genre and playing style. What has consistently impressed me is how each amp character doesn’t just sound like a variation of the same tone; each one is a distinct voice, full of character and depth.

Adding to this versatility is BOSS's Tube Logic technology, which convincingly emulates the complex interplay of a tube amplifier’s components. This gives the Katana not just the sound but the feel of playing through a tube amp, with dynamic response that reacts to the nuances of your playing.

Effects and Features

Boss Katana 100 MKII Top The Katana 100 MkII goes above and beyond with its onboard effects. Offering a wide array of effects - from modulations and delays to reverbs and distortions - it allows you to sculpt your sound in endless ways. What’s particularly delightful is how these effects are not just afterthoughts; they are of high quality and integrate seamlessly with the core tones of the amp. (As you can see from the dusty top in the photo, I've been using this amp in my studio for a long time and it's been versatile enough to create all the sounds I need.)

The inclusion of the Power Control feature is a godsend for both practicing musicians and performers. This allows you to crank the amp to get that full, rich tone at lower volumes - an essential feature for late-night practice sessions or small venue performances. And sure, you're going to miss feeling the sound in your stomach that you get with actual volume, but sound-wise it works like a charm!


Navigating the features of the Katana 100 MkII is straightforward, thanks to its intuitive control panel. For deeper customization, BOSS offers the Tone Studio editor, which is a software that opens up a deeper level of control over the amp settings and effects. There's a bit of a learning curve here, but it's well worth the effort for the level of customization it offers. You can even download settings that simulate your favourite artists, like Joe Satriani or Jimi Hendrix, from BOSS Tone Central.

Performance and Value

The Katana 100 MkII truly shines in live settings. Its 100-watt output is loud enough for most gig situations, and the quality of sound remains consistent, whether at low or high volumes. In terms of value, this amp is a powerhouse. It consolidates what would otherwise require multiple pedals and amps into one compact and affordable package, making it an excellent choice for both budding and seasoned guitarists.

Boss GA-FC Foot Controller

Boss GA-FC Foot Controller As opposed to the Katana 50, the Katana 100 supports the GA-FC foot controller. This is very much worth the money when you're actually gigging, as it allows you to quickly switch channels. If you're not too fancy with your effects, you might be able to use this to replace (most of) your pedal board.


My personal journey with the BOSS Katana 100 MkII has been overwhelmingly positive. It's a reliable workhorse that has become a staple in my musical toolkit, accompanying me on gig nights, studio recordings and quiet personal practice sessions alike. Its blend of quality, versatility, and value makes it a standout choice for anyone looking to elevate their guitar sound. Whether you’re a home hobbyist or a professional musician, the Katana 100 MkII is an amp that deserves serious consideration.

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